Teenage pregnancies

Credit: Pixabay

More health worries as teenage pregnancies rise by 78% in one year

Teenage pregnancies in Mpumalanga seem to a a particular problem.

Teenage pregnancies

Credit: Pixabay

Mpumalanga Health MEC Sasekani Manzini has revealed that teenage pregnancies in Mpumalanga have risen by a whopping 78% in one year. As a result of the increases, the public healthcare facilities have been put under extreme pressure.

DA MPL Jane Sithole received the information from Manzini in replies to her questions. According to the information provided, the province recorded 5609 deliveries in healthcare facilities. These births were all from mothers under the age of 18.

All three of the province’s districts saw their numbers increase.


2016/17 FY 2017/18 FY
Ehlanzeni District Municipality 3 082 5 897
Gert Sibande District Municipality 1 399 2 601
Nkangala District Municipality 1 128 1 517

The DA and Sithole say that the department of health’s awareness campaigns have not worked.

“MEC Manzini claims that the Health Department embarks on awareness campaigns aimed at educating communities on issues relating to sexual and reproductive health, contraception and family planning, yet it seems that these campaigns are not yielding positive results.

“Of particular concern is that the Department of Health does not have any mandatory reporting tool to report or investigate the circumstances around a 10 to 15-year-old girl falling pregnant.”

The party says that by not having a system to report or investigate these pregnancies, the Department could be turning a blind eye to cases of young girls being raped.

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While Sithole knows that the Health Department on its own cannot curb teenage pregnancies, she says that, using the information available to her, MEC Manzini must work with the Education Department and all relevant stakeholders to educate children about the consequences of teenage pregnancy.

“The sad reality is many of these pregnancies are as a result of girls being taken advantage of by older men, often called “blessers,” and these pregnancies very often result in girls dropping out of school and even being exposed to HIV/AIDS and STIs.”

With the Mpumalanga economy close to tatters, the added financial burden on young parents will not benefit anyone.